UPDATE 12/28/18: These went on sale for $99…so I reviewed them. Original Article Follows.
I buy every headset that I review with my own money.
If I ever do receive a product for free from a company to review…you’ll be the first to know right at the top of an article.
HyperX surprise-launched their Cloud Flight headset a few months ago, and every so often I get asked if I’m going to review it.
Here are the reasons I probably won’t in the near future.
For whatever reason, HyperX priced the Cloud Flight at $159.99…making it $10 more expensive than most of the competition. I know, $10 isn’t a lot…but since I’m buying everything myself, and I’m not made out of dollars, price is just as important to me as it is to you.
The 800 comes with a free Atmos code in its Xbox model. The Arctis 7 comes with DTS Headphone: X. What does HyperX offer you for that extra $10 exactly?
Something to think about.
I’ve bought and tested all of those models…and then sold most of them to friends. It’s hard for me to get excited about yet another headset at this price level unless it really brings something new in.
I like that HyperX has apparently used the drivers from the Cloud Alpha in the Cloud Flight.
Those sound great!
What I don’t like is that the build looks like it was inspired by/recycled from the $50 Cloud Stinger.
But HyperX has some exceptional designs at higher price brackets, including the Alpha and the Revolver. I’m baffled that the Flight uses a largely plastic frame that’s so similar to the Stinger, instead of one of their more premium designs.
If the Cloud Flight was the Alpha but with wireless functionality added for $150, I would have bought one immediately when it launched.
AVAILABILITY…OR LACK THEREOF
When the Stinger first launched, they showed up on the shelves of my local Best Buy right away. The same thing happened with the Revolver. And I even saw a few Revolver S’s in local stores.
But for its last few product launches…HyperX has been weirdly stingy with retail availability. The Cloud Alpha launched as a Gamestop retail exclusive…and eventually came to other stores through online channels only. I was able to get one several weeks after launch at a local Gamestop.
The Cloud Flight didn’t even get that much retail support. It’s only available through online channels, at least where I live in the US.
And it frequently gets backordered or has long shipping lead times.
It’s strange, because HyperX still has distribution contracts with many different retailers…but no one is getting shelved stock of the Cloud Flight. I’m not sure if that’s a cost-cutting measure, or if HyperX just doesn’t believe in the product, or what.
Maybe they’re just selling a ton of them…but then wouldn’t they increase production?
I don’t always buy stuff at brick-and-mortar retail…but I like having that option, at least. It tells me that people will have an easier time getting their hands on a headphone, and if I have a problem with it, it’s much easier and faster to do an exchange at a retailer than waiting through online shipping again.
Retail availability still has a weird excitement for me. If I can buy something off a shelf right now after holding it in my hands, that’s cool. It even gets me to try something I was skeptical of, sometimes.
With online shopping it’s no different. I like being able to get something within a couple of days.
I just checked, and Amazon doesn’t have any Flights in stock right now. The soonest Best Buy could get one to me is 6 days from now. Isn’t that a little strange?
I could have any other HyperX product I want as soon as this afternoon.
Look, I like HyperX stuff quite a bit. Usually.
If people keep asking me, I will eventually get around to reviewing the Cloud Flight…but from the outside looking in, it’s a slightly overpriced product in a crowded market full of capable products.
The Cloud Alpha offers the same drivers in a better-built casing with a cheaper price…if you can deal with the wire.
I know this makes me sound like a cheapskate, and it’s because I am one. Reviewing headphones is my hobby, and even though my reviews do well traffic-wise, they aren’t a profitable endeavor at all.
I do them for fun, and I buy products I think I’ll have fun with.
The jury’s still out on the Cloud Flight.
Do you own one and love it? Tell me about it in the comments!!!